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ATPM 14.07
July 2008


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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the July issue of About This Particular Macintosh! We begin this issue with focus on the pending release of iPhone 2.0 and the iPhone 3G. These two items, one a software and service solution and the other a hardware handset, were points of attention for the keynote address by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the annual conference for Apple developers. The 2008 WWDC conference was held last month at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. We mention the location of the conference as an aside. From the convention center in Northern California, what was said during the keynote address was seen and heard around the world.

MobileMe, Mobile You!

Evidencing how much the personal computing world has changed and will continue to change, Apple formally introduced at WWDC its enhanced cloud computing solution called MobileMe. This is the latest iteration of a service that had its humble beginnings as iTools several years ago. iTools was introduced in 2000 as a free service for Mac owners. In 2002 it was rebranded as .Mac with an annual subscription cost. Taking the existing .Mac service a few steps beyond today’s model, Apple is rebranding the service again as MobileMe. Most notably, MobileMe provides Web services for iPhone and iPod touch owners while enhancing the MobileMe functionality for users of Windows-based PCs.

MobileMe debuts on July 11, 2008. Subscribers to Apple’s .Mac service will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe at no additional cost. The annual subscription fee will not change from .Mac’s $99 per year. A Family pack is available for an annual subscription fee of $149. Following the transition from .Mac to MobileMe, previous .Mac subscribers will retain use of their e-mail addresses. Presumably e-mail addresses will no longer be available following the introduction of MobileMe. Those desiring a address might wish to consider subscribing to .Mac in the final days before MobileMe’s commercial debut.

iPhone 2.0

If there’s one point of confusion among members of the public concerning Apple’s new iPhone, it is misunderstanding that iPhone 2.0 and the iPhone 3G are somehow the same. Indeed, owners of currently available iPhone handsets will have access to virtually all of the software and service upgrades to be packaged and released as iPhone 2.0 when the 3G iPhone is introduced later this month. The obvious differences (among a small number of items) between today’s handset the 3G models are the retail cost to the consumer, the handset’s size and weight, and the 3G and GPS capabilities. However, integration with MobileMe, all of the “push” features, as well as applications from third parties that will soon debut in the iPhone’s application store will be available to owners of current iPhone handsets.

The retail price of the iPhone to consumers is being significantly reduced not because Apple is charging less, but because AT&T will significantly subsidize the cost for consumers over the life of the service contract. iPhone 3G owners will pay more per month for unlimited data service that what’s charged to current iPhone users. Apple and AT&T have revamped the revenue-sharing formula between the companies for the 3G handsets. In other words, buyers of the 3G handset will pay more despite the lower initial retail cost for the handset when combined with 3G services over a two-year contract period than current iPhone handset owners will pay under the original arrangement.

iPhone 3G

It’s almost here: a new iPhone with 3G capabilities. Few times in this writer’s recollection has a specific feature been so vocally and insistently demanded by potential customers of an Apple product. Outside the US, the cellular service and usage environment can be vastly different than the one we experience in the States. The new iPhone will be global in reach, and for millions of potential customers it will become not only their cell phone but also their primary personal computer in a diminutive size.

Service agreements with carriers in dozen of countries and regions have been signed by Apple. The new iPhone will be released to the world in quantities measured in millions of units, and soon after release it will be heralded as the most popular smart phone used by consumers around the world.

There’s one aspect of the iPhone that has garnered little attention outside the community of venture capitalists and software developers. The iPhone at its core is a Mac and shares in essence the same operating system with the iMac and other Macintosh products. Software engineers developing for the iPhone can easily apply similar resources to develop software products for the Mac. The hundreds of millions of dollars being invested by third parties in iPhone software and service solutions is a boon to the Macintosh platform as well as the iPhone. Development activity for the Mac and the iPhone may soon be measured in billions of dollars as the iPhone eventually reaches tens of millions of units sold and as the Mac continues to gain ground in the home and the workplace. This brings us…

Back to the Mac

It’s the Macintosh that drives Apple’s revenue and earnings, and it’s the Mac that continues to push innovation in the PC space. While June’s developer conference focused primarily on the iPhone, Snow Leopard, Apple’s next upgrade for Mac OS X, was formally announced. To be released about a year from now, Mac OS X 10.6 will pack substantial under-the-hood performance enhancements as well incorporate the release of QuickTime X. You’ll be hearing more about this cool-named cat in future issues of ATPM. Meanwhile, while the weather warms, please enjoy our July release.

Our July issue includes:

MacMuser: Me Too

Mark Tennent gets in touch with his inner “me” as he ponders the news from this year’s WWDC event.

Next Actions: iPhone Task Management a Go-go

Along with his updated master list of GTD applications, Ed Eubanks Jr. discusses GTD on smart phones—the iPhone in particular.

Photoshop for the Curious: Screen Replacements—When Reality Isn’t Real Enough

In this month’s Photoshop for the Curious, find out how to make the image on a computer monitor or television pop and not appear burned out when the monitor is photographed.

How To: Live Well With a NAS Drive

Sylvester Roque returns with ideas on real-world use of a NAS drive.

Desktop Pictures: Vehicular Graphics

Reader Harry Torres provides this month’s desktop pictures featuring stylized renderings of vehicles.

Cartoon: Cortland

Cortland’s foes celebrate his vanquishment, and reminisce on how they got to that point…

Review: EyeTV 3.0.2

Paul Fatula reviews Elgato’s EyeTV 3.0.2 TV tuner program, with an eye to deciding whether ther ther ther ther ther ther ther <force restart> owners of an earlier version are well-advised up upgrade.

Review: iPhone Superguide

Macworld’s iPhone Superguide is a one-stop shop for a wide range of iPhone information, both for new owners and the user who obtained an iPhone the first day of its release.

Review: Spell-Jam


Review: Wii Transfer 2.5.2

Accessing music, movies, and pictures in your computer library from a Nintendo Wii console using that nifty Wii Remote could be a lot of fun. Lee Bennett takes a look at whether Wii Transfer is up to the challenge.

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